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Effect of the recession where you are?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by QORC, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    Someone in another thread asked if the demand for cover bands had gone up during the recession?

    I got to thinking on it and I don't think that's the case, at least in my city and surrounding area. Here's what I've seen this year compared to last year

    1. An explosion of "open mic" and phony "battle of the bands" at venues and/or nights that used to have bands -- original or otherwise. It becomes free entertainment for the bars. Some people like them, but they are all of the sudden popping up everywhere, and not on just Sunday nights.

    2. Revenues are flat. We are mostly seeing the same money for gigs, or even a little less. Perks have also been cut at some places.

    3. Some places are just closed. So no music at all.

    Your cities or areas?
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    It took awhile to catch up, but lately crowds are down, and club owners say it's been that way for the past several weeks. I think a lot of people have a fixed amount to spend at the bar, and once they spend their 20 or 30 dollars, they go home. It's been kind of hit or miss lately, but last year it was all hit.
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Im not in a cover band (though the possibility of joining one to make a few extra bucks is a definite possibility) but right now my original band is making a LOT of headway. Im probably busier now than Ive ever been. Then again, we just play for the love of it all, but its been going great!
  4. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    A good friend of mine is a piano player who does a lot of dueling piano bars (he live in Boston like me, but will travel to random casinos in Iowa to play, and that sort of thing). He's notice a definate lack of gigs, and it takes him much more effort to keep getting booked at his regular places. The dueling piano bar on Landsdowne st. in Boston closed this fall. Its closing wasn't entirely due to the economy, but it certainly didn't help.
  5. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    So you are playing more because venues are cutting back and your band will play for free or cheap?:rolleyes:
  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    No, we're playing more because we're putting in the effort to book more shows. People are hearing our music and taking interest, and our fanbase (as a 3 month old band) is building fast. For some, playing music to make money is what its all about, but not for us. We play for the love of it. We enjoy performing for others, and whether we're playing a 2 hour set at an art opening making $75 in tips, or bringing along 3 of our friends' bands playing for 45 minutes making squat we love what we do, and it shows.
  7. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I talked to the owner where we plaeyed last weekend (Phalex plays there too). We had a really good night. Lately she would consider it an exceptional night. Place was packed. She said she brought in $3200 but last year it was constantly $33-3500.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yes. Karaoke is also a scourge on this market, for the same reason.

    Not so much on the per-gig revenues. We are still as busy as we want to be and have not dropped our price to do it. In fact I just compared my year-over-year revenues to last year and as of last weekend I have netted as much $$ this year as it took me till August last year to make. That being said, we are definitely going toe-to-toe with some owners on the food and drink perks lately though, as they really seem to be tightening up on the freebies that were just assumed before. This is really kind of a sore point with me ... my 5-man band on a "heavy" drinking night maybe consumes a total of 15 beers or mixed drinks. We're helping these guys sell thousands of dollars of alcohol and they think 15 freebies is too much to ask. :rollno:

    Not so much. Most of the live music venues in my area that have closed, shut their doors before the economy really started going south. What I do see is that new venues are not popping up to take their place like they did in the past. Bottom line, in this market there are a precious few places to play and it takes a long time to get into their rotation and you had better be pretty good and have some good connections.
  9. mike.b


    Aug 21, 2007
    noticed a lack of patrons(sat night in town)at the last 2 gigs.people can't afford to go out now.and landlords are not paying as much as they used to.doesn't help that there are more bands out there fighting for the same gig.bloody recession.
  10. lawsonman


    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    We feel pretty lucky around here.Though the economy sucks,we've been turning down jobs and our crowds have been good.We could be playing every weekend if we wanted.Seems like the money people have they're using to drink their problems away.
  11. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I play the same gig at the same bar every week, and make about the same money, so- none I guess.
  12. The past three years we have performed over 100 shows per year. With the recession and with venues closing due to the recession, it looks like we'll do about 75 shows this year, a 25% reduction. Also, the karaoke and dj's go in for much less $$ and take business away. I feel strongly that karaoke should be banned in the United States of America.
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Thanks for placing the bar so high Mike! We'll see how we do this weekend.
  14. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    LOL! 1 night out of 4. The weekend before that was the start of spring break and Michigan State basketball. Turnout was ok. The second weekend Fri was great but Sat was the day before easter so turnout was ok again. Plus, we plugged your asses 4 or 5 times. You'd better do the same later on when we follow you.
  15. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Well, your descriptive words could have been better........

    I will most certainly return the favor!
  16. I've noticed the recent trend of venues forgoing drink tickets for the band in favor of some PBR or equally cheap beer on ice backstage. I'm not sure if this is cost cutting for the recession or just general cost cutting. It also might just be a convenience issue.
  17. Some places have Rockband or Guitar Hero nights.

    Ok, I like playing these games once in a while, they can be fun, but why in the hell would a bar owner program a Rockband night is beyond me.
  18. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    there´s a slight "dip" in available gigs this year here in Finland, but nothin too serious, yet. I do FOH for 2 bands and the one doing mostly corporate gigs and such seems to be taking more hits. the other band (who just got their 2nd album out) has a nice string of gigs coming up, so I guess it depends... Nothing to panic about, really. my studio keeps fairly busy, so I think we´ll float...

    in tough times, people need to be entertained, I guess...
  19. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yep, here in the U.S., the Great Depression was one of the biggest eras in history for the movie industry.
  20. The only changes I see are some venues cutting back on perks, We have remedied this by bringing our own coolers @ load in. Bartender sees this, sees you whipping out a cold one that they did not get to sell you, the tune changes real quick. That and the bottom line net is dwindling, as expenses are continuing to rise, while our rates are not.

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